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Old 08-15-2015, 02:24 PM   #21
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nwcatowner, thanks for the excellent advice on the fabrics and such. I want it to look good - I know, I have issues....

I would love to know about your faucet and shower head choices, never even thought about those.
I've not figured out the faucet yet. However, I did purchase the showerhead already. It's the same one we use at home and I really like the slider knob thingie (technical term is shut-off valve) for shutting off the water while you're showering. I don't have a lot of strength in my hands and the others I've tried at home just hurt my hand/thumb too much. But this one is lots easier to use. It's from EcoCamel; I had read a review of them in a motorhome magazine earlier this year. I also used it on my month-long RV rental trip.

Ecocamel Showerheads in the US

Hey, I think the fabric (if you're going the custom route, which not everyone does) choice was the hardest for me. It's out there where you and everyone else can see. You can't hide it with rugs, like you can on the flooring if you're not in love with it. and you'll probably be spending lots of time on it - lounging, reading, watching TV, eating, whatever. Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2015, 04:36 PM   #22
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Yes, the largest optional Escape battery set is about twice the weight of the standard battery, so it has twice the capacity, and it is split into two 6-volt units... a sensible choice if you want the capacity and can handle the weight.
We have a 19 with the two 6 volt batteries. So far, we have not used any where near the battery capacity according to our battery monitor. The lowest we have gotten is 94%. We use lights, fans, furnace, and water pump but no inverter except for the 60W plugin we use to recharge our electric toothbrushes (!). We have solar and it seems to get things charged even when we camp in the shade. There must be enough sun during the day. I am concerned with the weight as our tongue weight is at 15% of the trailer weight, and I would like it a little less. I think we would have been fine with the larger 12v battery which would have reduced the tongue weight since the batteries are on the tongue in the 19.
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:13 PM   #23
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We have the standard 12V battery and no solar. We have gone 5 days without shore power and had no issues. We still had energy left to run our 12V accessories at that point, so who knows how much longer we could have gone?
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Old 08-15-2015, 07:58 PM   #24
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We have a 19 with the two 6 volt batteries. So far, we have not used any where near the battery capacity according to our battery monitor. The lowest we have gotten is 94%. We use lights, fans, furnace, and water pump but no inverter except for the 60W plugin we use to recharge our electric toothbrushes (!). We have solar and it seems to get things charged even when we camp in the shade. There must be enough sun during the day. I am concerned with the weight as our tongue weight is at 15% of the trailer weight, and I would like it a little less. I think we would have been fine with the larger 12v battery which would have reduced the tongue weight since the batteries are on the tongue in the 19.
I agree the pair of 6 volts is probably overkill. I debated on the larger 12 volt or the pair of 6 volts and ended up with the pair of 6 volts. We've never come close to using the capacity with the solar. Besides the extra weight, I have two batteries to trickle charge over the winter.
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:23 PM   #25
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I agree the pair of 6 volts is probably overkill. I debated on the larger 12 volt or the pair of 6 volts and ended up with the pair of 6 volts. We've never come close to using the capacity with the solar. Besides the extra weight, I have two batteries to trickle charge over the winter.
I know nothing. So, please help me understand. I think:

1. There is a "standard" 12 volt battery.
2. There is an optional bigger 12 volt battery.
3. There is an optional set of two 6 volt batteries.

If so, I assume 1 - 3 above are in order of increasing capacity and weight. Is this correct?

About how much more does one weigh than another?

And, you say you have to trickle charge the two 6 volt batteries in the winter. Do the 12 volt batteries have to be trickle charged too?

Would two 6 volt batteries with solar be overkill if one boondocked for an extended period , say a week or so, and used a few small appliances for short periods each day?
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:34 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by llfalcon View Post
I know nothing. So, please help me understand. I think:
Would two 6 volt batteries with solar be overkill if one boondocked for an extended period , say a week or so, and used a few small appliances for short periods each day?
The forum electrical experts will speak to this. BUT you may want to figure out what kind of appliances you envision using while you are boondocking. You are going to be restricted to using 12 volt appliances while boondocking and using your 12 volt battery/solar system.

I think you will need to get your head around the whole INVERTER issue. It took me lots of hours of online research and many newbie forum questions before I figured out what was going on.

In my view, you need to figure out what type of camping you plan to do. For example we chose to go minimalistic (to a degree). We have an airconditioner. Coffee machine, hair dryer for when we are on serviced sites. But we skipped on the inverter when our Escape members pointed out how quickly appliances suck the juice out of the batteries (plus u can't run the air conditioner off the inverter). So when we "boondock" we run on 12 volt and don't suffer at all. We love the solar and dual batteries. We recharge our communication devices (phones iPads camera) enjoy the fan, lights. When we have shore power we splurge. It's kind of fun.

We've boon docked about a week in the summer and never suffered. The solar recharged. We made our coffee the old fashioned way with boiled water. Liz misses the hair dryer and bought a curling iron that runs on butane of all things.

Enjoy your research.

Added: we talked to ETI and don't do the trickle thing over winter. It depends on where you live, how cold it gets and how much sun u get. With these batteries u need to make sure the batteries have the right amount of water in them and that you use the correct type of water.

Think of all this as your new hobby

By the way: Re: the brake controller set-up - make sure you understand that you'll need to have different setting depending upon whether the trailer is empty or fully loaded. Don't just set the controller once and think that's all there is to it. (I speak from experience).

Larry
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Old 08-15-2015, 08:50 PM   #27
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Each of the 6 volt batteries weighs about same as the 12 volt I have in my truck, so I have two heavy batteries in the trailer. I think two 6 volts pretty much doubles the weight of a single group 27 12 volt (the standard battery). Check the interstate battery site for the weights. ETI offers a group 27, group 29, and the two 6 volts.

How long you can boondocks depends on whether you have solar (we do) and how much sun you get at the campsite. It also depends on what you use for electric. We have the LED lights and don't use much electric. I haven't boondocked more than three days at a time and we haven't come close to running down the batteries. The frig, heater, and stove all run on gas when there is no electric hookup. We don't use the Mr Coffee, tv, hair dryer, etc. from the batteries

Yes, any of the batteries should be trickle charged over the winter, assuming it gets cold and you are closing up the trailer. I'm in New England and we cover the trailer, as I move the batteries to the barn. It turns out that trickle chargers for 6 volt batteries are more difficult to find than 12 volt trickle chargers. I couldn't use my existing charger and had to buy two chargers to handle the 6 volts. Little bit of an extra expense, and I had two batteries on the workbench all winter.

If I had to do it over, I'd definitely get the solar, but I'd go with the bigger 12 volt (option #2 on your list)
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Old 08-15-2015, 09:07 PM   #28
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Here's the link to the interstate battery site with the different weights. https://www.interstatebatteries.com/...o/marine_f.asp
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:57 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by LarryandLiz View Post

Added: we talked to ETI and don't do the trickle thing over winter. It depends on where you live, how cold it gets and how much sun u get. With these batteries u need to make sure the batteries have the right amount of water in them and that you use the correct type of water.

Larry
I'm surprised that no one's commented on this. Certainly been my understanding that allowing a battery to sit and self discharge for months isn't a good thing to do.

Also, as others have said on many items, there's really no wrong answer. The standard battery is fine for many folks. You can always add a second battery if you find you really need it. I went with the Group 29 and added a second one to make a two battery bank because that's what I like to have. In the end, it all comes down to what you power with them and how long you go without recharging, whether it be solar, your tow vehicle or shore power.

Ron
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Old 08-15-2015, 11:16 PM   #30
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Ron, I wasn't clear, thanks for commenting.

The batteries don't self discharge cause they stay on the trailer hooked up to the solar.

ETI Said I could leave the batteries on the trailer cause we don't get too cold here in the Lower Mainland. I just keep my eye on the battery water level and the solar panel.

When the Egg was stored for us at ETI the batteries don't get disengaged.
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